Quantcast
Forum

 

SEARCH THIS BLOG
« Airlines Waiving Fees For East Coast Travel | Main | Is This The End For the London Black Cab? »
Tuesday
Oct232012

Gear Review: Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender Bag

Earlier this year, Eagle Creek came out with a new smaller than MLC bag, the Adventure Weekender Bag. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen so many people wanting a review of a particular bag. And since I want to keep my OBOW readers happy, I picked one up.

 

Let’s start with the specs: The Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender Bag (ECAWB) measures 20 x 13 x 8 in/51 x 33 x 20 cm. It weighs 2 lbs, 9 oz/1.16kg and holds 2500 cu in/41L of stuff.  It’s mostly made of 600d ripstop polyester.

There are two external pockets on the front of the bag and a luggage tag held in place by an elastic band.

The smaller of the two external pockets has an organizer panel and another full length zippered pocket that contains a key ring.

 

The second external pocket is larger and designed for a laptop although there really isn’t much padding. The back wall isn’t rigid and can expand to let larger items fit in this pocket. Be aware, however, that the more space used here, the less you’ll have in the upper internal section. They share that floating panel.

 

The main compartment opens wardrobe style and has two equal sized halves. This is unusual as most bags have a fairly thin lid. The upper section has a full zipper closure and is partially meshed. It is meant to be used with the Eagle Creek Pack-It system. The other section has two compression straps.

 

The back has the compartment holding the hide-away backpack straps as well as a pass through should you wish to carry it on the handles of a wheeled bag. (None of you would do that, right?)

The hidden backpack straps area easily clipped into place. They do not have either a sternum or waist strap. The backpack straps are comfortable and fine for short treks.

All external zippers are fully lockable and come with large, reflective zipper pulls. There is a double main handle that can be clipped together. There is also one small side handle.

It comes with a padded, removable shoulder strap and the “D” ring attachments are off-set for better balance while carrying it that way. 

When I first got the bag, it seemed a lot smaller than my full sized carry-ons. In the following picture, it’s side by side with the Ebags Weekender on the left and the Tom Bihn Tri-Star on the right:

Although it looks smaller than the Tri-Star, it is slightly longer. And in real life, the ECAWB looks a lot smaller than the Ebags Weekender.

My first impression of the material used was not very favorable. The polyester didn’t feel as smooth or strong as similar weight nylons. But after awhile, the material grew on me and I could see it was stronger than I initially thought. It’s doubtful that this bag would ever have to be checked so I doubt much harm  would come to it. And if it does, Eagle Creek does offer a lifetime warranty. The workmanship on the bag is good.

Its briefcase style looks means it could pass as an oversized laptop bag should you need to take it into a meeting. I was actually surprised they made this bag part of their “Adventure” series.

Even with my few issues such as size and feel of material, it’s a well designed bag that would make a good choice for those looking for a slightly smaller than MLC, mid-priced bag.

The ECAWB is available in black, rust and olive. $150 U.S. Made in Vietnam.

Reader Comments (25)

looks like a good bag, and kind of seems like it is less 'floppy' than the patagonia mlc (which i own). i'm thinking about getting a bag around this size and comparing this and the tb western flyer. one benefit for me with this bag is that i prefer the laptop in the middle vs the back, like the patagonia and WF.
October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRalph
How does this bag compare to the Pagagonia MLC 2011 version?
October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
It's going to come down to design preference.

The MLC is slightly thinner than the EC bag and has thinner compartments. The MLC has a sternum strap and the EC doesn't.

The MLC is made of slightly heavier material so it weighs a little more.

Quality wise they are about the same.

I sold my MLC but may keep the ECAWB. However, I'm supposed to be getting both the new lightweight Tombihn Tri-Star and Aeronaut for review. If I like them, I may return the ECAWB.

That's the tough thing about bags; there's always a new one coming on the market that may be better than what I have now.
October 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
Thanks so much for the review. It really does seem to meet all my requirements. Importantly it has lockable external zips, vital if travelling in Asia, what with the thefts from bags in overhead bins.
October 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Frank:

What did you think of the quality of the zippers? I recently bought an Eagle Creek laptop backpack and the zippers are not YKK. While they seem to work fine for me for an everyday bag, I think some might be leary of not having YKK brand zippers on a travel bag, especially at this price point.
October 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuss
While YKK zippers are the gold standard, and zippers, in general, are the most common things to give problems with bags, these zippers seemed fine.

None gave me any problems of sticking or not moving smoothly. (I have had this problem with some YKK zippers on more expensive bags.)

As long as you don't pack the bag to overcapacity where you're putting extra pressure on the zippers, I don't think you should have a problem. I can't remember ever having a problem with the zippers on Eagle Creek products.
October 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
I set up a Google price alert on this bag. Seems like a good addition to my REI Overnighter to add the ability bring along a full sized laptop and an extra day or two of clothing. I have an eBags Motherlode TLS Weekender (3300 cubic inches) and I'm starting to think that 2500 cubic inches is the upper weight limit of what can be reasonably be carried on your back or shoulder when packed.
October 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDunbar
Dunbar...be aware, Eagle Creek does not allow its retailers to discount bags except during times of approved inventory clearance. They will put items on sale to make room for newer models.
October 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
<<times of approved inventory clearance.>>

I believe that Patagonia has a similar policy. In the travel goods industry, is there any particular time of the year when such inventory clearance is most common?

For bicycles, this month would likely be inventory clearance time, just as March-April might be the same for skiing merchandise. I would think that fall into winter, as a slower time for travel, might be a typical inventory clearance period...but Frank will know....I think.
October 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan B
There is no set time for the discounts. It depends on when new products are introduced.

As an example, a couple of months ago, Eagle Creek put their new Specter line on sale to make room for new colors and models.

(I'll be reviewing Specter soon and news of new products in the line.)

Rarely is the entire product inventory on sale--usually only items either being discontinued or not selling well. After summer season and after Christmas are times you are more likely to see sales but not necessarily. I saw some good sales in June.

And, yes, Patagonia also has this policy.
October 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
<<times of approved inventory clearance.>>

I believe that Patagonia has a similar policy. In the travel goods industry, is there any particular time of the year when such inventory clearance is most common?

For bicycles, this month would likely be inventory clearance time, just as March-April might be the same for skiing merchandise. I would think that fall into winter, as a slower time for travel, might be a typical inventory clearance period...but Frank will know....I think.
October 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan B
Recently purchased this bag in the and am initially impressed with the design. However, you stated that it is 3 lbs. 9 oz. but it is as stated on the tags as 2 lbs. 9 oz.
October 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave
Good catch. Let me explain the discrepancy. In the luggage industry, when that happens, it is commonly known as a "typo." I fixed it. :)
October 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
Great review Frank, thanks a lot.
Although its a bit smaller than the usual bags you review, I would love to hear your opinion on the new Incase EO Backpack: http://goincase.com/collections/eo-travel/backpack/
November 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDarnok
I can't review a bag I don't have.

A few points:

--it's not a convertible. The backpack straps don't hide-away.
--no mention of material used or types of zippers
--no mention of weight.

I usually restrict my reviews to either convertible bags or carry-on size bags without any backpack straps at all. There are dozens of travel backpacks and trying to keep track of them all would be very difficult.
November 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
Frank,

Thanks for the review. Your site has been helpful.

Your comments above suggest the ECWB could hold more stuff than the MLC. Is that correct? How about the ECWB vs the airboss? Is the airboss that much larger? (I'm looking for a light bag that can hold a decent amount). Thanks.
November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLee
When comparing bags regarding how much they hold, it's not the outside dimensions that's important, it's the volume.

The ECAWB is 2500 cu in.
The MLC is 2746 cu in.
The Air Boss is 2184 cu in.

Comparing the three, the Air Boss actually holds less. Why? Because it is a three compartment bag and the panels separating the compartments take up room.

The L.L. Bean Quickload is light and holds 2961 cu in. The Ebags TLC Weekender is heavier but holds over 3200 cu in.

Remember, though, just because a bag can carry more doesn't mean you have to or should.

By the way, both Ebags and Zappos are currently selling the ECAWB for $120. (20% saving) I don't know how long the sale will be on.
November 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
Those are the manufacturers specified volume. Do you find them to be accurate? To me they don't make much sense. The MLC should be the smallest based on the dimensions of the bag. This picture also seems to make the case that the airboss is larger than the MLC despite the numbers.

http://www.practicalhacks.com/2009/09/27/5-popular-carry-on-bags-side-by-side/

Trying to figure out where the ECAWB really fits.

Roger on packing as little as possible.
November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLee
I do find the manufacturers measurements to be accurate.

There is a standard way of measuring the volume of a bag. Basically, it's filled with tiny pellets. Once filled, the pellets are removed, placed in a specially designed cylinder and measured. That gives the total volume.

Bags are all designed differently--numerous pockets, rounded corners, etc....all of which will affect the volume.

The Airboss may be bigger on the outside, but it has more internal material taking up space than the MLC or ECAWB.

Like I said previously, don't go by outside dimensions alone when it comes to figuring out volume.
November 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
I still don't see how the MLC gets 2746cc in a 20.5"x13.5"x7" (1937cc) space. This site (http://www.practicalhacks.com/2009/01/27/first-take-patagonia-mlc-bag/) shows the air boss and MLC side by side and despite the specs claims says the "[MLC's] capacity is not quite that of the Air Boss".

Ignore the specs for a moment. Which of these bags have you been able to pack the most in? (For those rare occasions you need to do so, of course :). You're the only person I've found who's used both bags. Thanks again for your help.
November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLee
I don't have an Air Boss. (If you're seeing the reviews on this site, they were done by the previous owner of the site. When we changed ownership, unfortunately, all his postings changed to look as if they came from me.)

Comparing the MLC and the ECAWB, I can get more in the ECAWB.

However, nothing holds as much as my Tom Bihn Aeronaut. That holds more than any other bag I own. If you really want a bag that doesn't stop letting you cram things in, get one of these.
November 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
The EC Adventure Weekender is on sale at LuggageBase today for quite a decent price, and they are offering free shipping.
If this deal were out there six months ago, I would definitely have one of these instead of the EC Dane. I love my newly acquired Western Flyer (and there are a ton of other comparison points) but, the ECAW does offer more capacity for less weight and, for right now, half the price.
November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Foot
Yes, the Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender is on sale just about everywhere for around $120. Not sure if it's a special Christmas sale or if the bag is not selling well. Personally, I don't know why they put it in the "Adventure" line as the bag looks more urban than adventure to me.

I bought mine eight weeks ago for $150. It was still under the "free return period" so I asked for a refund of the difference. They gave it to me.

If you don't ask, you don't get.
November 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
Just an update that this bag is on sale for $112.50 and sold out in most colours.
June 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertcl
Nice and informative blog.The bags are nice
March 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYOLO

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.